Friday Crab Day

Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted due to a combination of vacation and sloth. However it was the third Friday of the month and if you don’t know by now that’s Food Truck Friday, put it on your calendar.

This month started way less hellish than last month at a much more tolerable 82 or 28 for the C folks. The sun was shining and the music was blaring when I pulled into the parking spot and the early crowd was robust compared to the last few FTFs.

A quick swing by the adult beverage tent secured me a Damn Yankee IPA from Southern Barrel Brewing. It was a passable and hoppy way to pass the time as I wandered from truck to truck looking for inspiration and dinner. The crowd was larger than normal and there were so many children running around the fountain I saw 3 separate instances of mothers mistakenly grabbing somebody else’s kid when they got too close to the water.

The bright red of the Baltimore Crab Cake Co caught my eye and lured me in.

The offering was slim; a crab cake sandwich, she crab soup, coleslaw and chips. The up side of that was the service was faster than just about any I’ve ever had at a food truck. I got the crab cake sandwich and because they had a money back guarantee on their homemade coleslaw I felt challenged to try it.

Up to this point the band had been inoffensive, not bad, not great, just live elevator music but then they hit us with Wagon Wheel during the brief time I was at the Baltimore Crab Cake truck which earned them some point with me. Sandwich in hand I settled in to see what else they might have up their microphones.

The photo will serve as my awkward segue back to the sandwich. The crab cake was loaded with lumps of real crab and spiced with Old Bay seasoning and enough filler to hold it together during cooking and long enough to get it to the bun but then all structural integrity was out the window. They had a mustardy, slightly spicy remoulade to accompany the sandwich. All good but I’m not sure I’d do it again for $11. The coleslaw was good enough I didn’t test the guarantee. It was mostly diced cabbage rather than the more common shredded or sliced. It had a bit of dairy flavor I couldn’t quite peg like they added a touch of sour cream or buttermilk to the recipe. Thankfully they didn’t add sugar and make it a sweet coleslaw. Overall it was a decent meal and with the amount of real crab I was okay with the price point.

That pretty much covers the food portion of the blog, now we’re on to the experience of the evening. After finishing the meal I wandered over to the other beer tent and got a Passion Fruit Kolsch beer from New Belgium Brewing. For those of you that gagged a little right there let me say it was really decent. I’m a big fan of passion fruit and was a mildly disappointed the flavor wasn’t stronger. This had just a enough of a hint that if you didn’t know what it was you’d think it was just hops. It also was more fizzy than heady. Not a bad choice to kick back and enjoy the band that was getting me even more on their side with the Zac Brown / Jimmy Buffet Knee Deep song.

I found a good spot along a low wall to perch and enjoy the PFK, the band who has belted out Black Water at this point got some applause out of me. I’m feeling in a generous spirit, watching this diverse crowd of all ages, ethnicities and Breakfast Club stereotypes enjoying a night out in harmony and thinking this is just people being people. It made me smile and feel good about my community.

Now before you start thinking “Damn, the pod people got James”, let me just tell you I wasn’t quite ready to hold hands and sing Kumbaya with everybody. There was a dude next to me talking to a couple of his buddies going on and on about his golf equipment, his carbon shaft, big club heads, putter faces and in a tone of voice that made it sound just that dirty and creepy. Then he started talking about this guy he played with the other day. He regaled them (and me due to proximity) for 10 minutes with stories this guy told him about holes in one and famous people he’d golfed with, etc. and finished with “but he’s a drug addict so he might have been lying.”

As I was rolling my eyes a fellow who looked like a 5′ 5″ Lebron James miniature walked by and the band started playing Drift Away. So I smiled at mini Lebron and drifted away from that group.

Crabby Patty

Food Truck Friday

I am a big fan of Friday’s. Food Truck Friday’s are like superstar Friday’s and this week was an FTF.  I already had the truck I was going to hit picked out so all I needed was a parking place and a beer to nurse while I waited to order and then get my food.  Plenty of parking…check.  Live band pumping out Day Tripper, not on the list but…check.  Wristband acquisition…check.  Beer selection & purchase…check.

This month they had free tapered koozies to fit the beer cups which was very convenient and the folks who work the stations were still awesome.  If you’re not sure about a beer they will give you a sample so fast it’ll make your head spin.  I was intrigued by the Shiner Peach and had to try it out.  It’s a wheat ale made with peaches and it was a really nice beer for a warm evening waiting in line.  I got a great whiff of peach as I brought the cup up to sip and the peach flavor permeated every aspect of the beer from the first taste to the aftertaste.  So with beer secured it was time to stand in line at my chosen truck.

The Maryland Crab & Co truck is the first truck I pass each FTF and I’ve never stopped until this month.  The line was long but I already had my mind set on seeing what they could do with crab.  I got the crab cake sandwich with some Old Bay fries.  The crab cake was made with real crab and was overwhelmingly crab, in a good way.  A lot of crab cakes are mainly binder & filler but not this one.  There was so much crab it fell apart fairly easily but I wasn’t going to complain.  It was served on a toasted bun and you could get it with hot sauce or tartar sauce.  I chose to go with tartar and they give it to you in a cup so you can control how much to use.  I went light on it because I didn’t want to overpower the crab flavor.  It was a mild tartar sauce anyway so it was not a problem.  The sandwich was great.  The fries were basically just shoestring fries that had Old Bay seasoning sprinkled on them just before being served.

While I was dining at a table with some other random Rock Hill residents we were treated to the sounds of Liverpool, a Beatles cover band while the fountain did its thing.

I walked around a bit more and found myself with another beer.  This time a Stone Brewing Tangerine Express, and yes I’m counting both those beers as a serving of fruit.  This was an IPA and boy was it hoppy.  I know that’s a characteristic of IPAs but this was almost over the top.  Part of that was probably the citrus taste from the tangerine.  Initially I didn’t get much tangerine but as I drank it the flavor seemed to become more pronounced.  It was interesting but I wouldn’t have another. After a bit more walking and listening I figured a stop by the Art of Baking truck to procure a late night snack wouldn’t be out of line.

The chocolate salted caramel cupcake was the one that got the call.  The cake was a moist chocolate, the icing was a whipped topping that tasted a bit oily but it was also the salt delivery system and of course the caramel drizzle topped the whole thing marvelously.  It was a nice finish to a great day.  Only one month until the next FTF.